Hello. I had a roof leak that softened by plaster and lathe shower
wall and bulged the wall. I removed all the tiles from the affected
area, removed the P&L and installed Durock. I'm now ready to re-tile.
I just wanted to get some advice on how to best do this. I have read
countless posts indicating that you can forget the premixed adhesives
for shower walls, so I will be using a dry modified thinset. My main
concern (other than mixing the thinset to the proper consistency) is
making sure the tiles don't slide down the wall. Maybe this won't be
an issue since they are only 4 x 4 or so but i'm not sure. since I'm
replacing tiles I really can't start at the bottom and work my way up,
it really has to be from the top down, beginning where the existing
tiles are still on the wall.
Can anyone recommend a thinset with good adhesion and/or give me some
tips to keep the tiles in place? I've already read that I should keep
my trowel lines horizontal, which makes sense. Should I be taping the
tiles to the tiles above as I work my way down?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
You should be fine with 4x4 tiles. I recently did a bathroom with 6x6
tiles and had no sliding problems on the cement board or the drywall
using tile mortar from the Borg.
If you are concerned start at the bottom and work your way up using
those plastic tile spacers. If your tile has those little self-
spacing nubs you shouldn't need anything.
FWIW I did a shower 4 years ago using mastic and the tiles are still
solid. They were 4x4 and well-grouted after giving the mastic a few
days to dry. From what I have heard the problem with the pre-mixed
stuff is it never fully cures on larger tiles because the air can't
get to the center of the tile. Who knows, it could all be urban
You should also make sure your corners are square and plumb. Try not to get
to a point where you have smaller than 1/3 of a tile in those corners. Line
up your tiles first and move them left or right so you get as much tile on
either side where they meet in the corners. When tiling is done instead of
using grout in the corners use a colored grout caulk. Probably, non sanded
in your case. Corners can move with the settling of the house and grout can
crack. Caulk will give and flex. There's many books on this subject and you
should get one. Like using a ledger board screwed temporaryly to the hardy
board to use as a starting point. I always use them to start my second row.
Install it just short of a full tile. Reason. Bathtubs are now always level
and you may have to cut tile for that first row. GET A BOOK. I could write
a book just trying to explain many other tips on tiling I have given you
like 5 already.
"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can\'t make them THINK"
1. Any old thinset should be fine.
2. Mix it so it will form peaks that don't slump and it will hold up those
little tiles just fine.
3. I can't think of any reason why you should comb out the mortar
horizontally. Even if I could I wouldn't bother :)
Tiling is fun...long as you don't have too much of it to do. ;)
Feel free to use tape to hold those wandering tiles in place. Use
plastic spacers, scraps of cardboard, toothpicks or whatever, then
when the tile is lined up right tape it in place.
If you want to learn more about tiling, the best resources I've found
are the John Bridge tile forums online, and the Taunton Press' tile
books by Michael Byrne. Pick up a copy on eBay for ten bucks.
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